Pencil on paper
35 x 50 cm (13 3/4 x 19 3/4 in) (unframed)
44,5 x 59,5 x 3,5 cm (17 3/8 x 23 1/4 x 1 1/8 in) (framed)
This drawing from 1972 combines elements from the early geometric, neo-constructivist period of Stefan Bertalan’s work, with the close observation of organic processes and systematic studies of shapes found in organic, vegetal, and mineral forms that eventually led to the artist’s development of an interconnected cosmology of all things, represented in later series by the interacting forms of landscape, vegetal pattern, and atomic structure.
For Bertalan drawing—which constitutes about ninety percent of his surviving œuvre—was a research tool, fusing scientific method and artistic imagination. His entire practice developed from studies of geometric structures and detailed observations of plant and animal life, but was deeply informed by post-World War II sciences: information and communication theory, cybernetics, mathematics, semiotics and, later, fractal geometry.
Stefan Bertalan was a pivotal figure in the history of post-war Romanian art. His activities in the 1960s and 1970s—as founder of the influential avant-garde groups 111 (1966 – 1969) and Sigma (1970 – 1978)—gained international recognition. Yet, despite a surge of interest in the years preceding his death in 2014, fueled by a small number of artists and art historians Bertalan had allowed entry to his studio, his remarkable later bodies of work remain largely unknown.